SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Massachusetts woman who pushed for a statewide anti-bullying law after her 11-year-old son committed suicide has died following a battle with cancer. Sirdeaner Walker was 51.
Walker’s son, Carl Walker-Hoover, hanged himself at his home in 2009. Walker said he had been tormented by his classmates.
After her son’s death she became an outspoken advocate for anti-bullying measures. In 2010, Democratic Gov. Deval (deh-VAL’) Patrick signed into law a bill that required all school districts in the state to develop programs to reduce bullying. The law made cyberbullying a crime.
A scholarship foundation later was named for Carl Walker-Hoover.
Walker was from Springfield. Democratic Mayor Domenic Sarno calls her “a strong woman of faith” who turned a devastating loss into proactive efforts to fight bullying.
Funeral arrangements are pending.